A Day Trip to York

We spent a very lovely day in York on Friday enjoying some shopping, visiting a couple of churches and having a fabulous meal in one of our favourite restaurants: El Piano. We felt that this was the perfect combination to feed our bodies, minds and spirits! As well as a spot of shopping in the sales!

El Piano is a vegan tapas restaurant in Grape Lane in the heart of York, close to the Minster, and near to some of our favourite shops: Mulberry, Sahara and Maude and Tommy. El Piano serves a wonderful vegan only menu and amongst the choices were dhal, fritters and burgers. All absolutley delicious and it's so lovely to have a complete menu to choose from rather than being restricted to the one or two vegetarian options.

Following lunch we enjoyed some highly successful mooching round the shops and a few beautiful purchases in the sales and then we decided that it was time to feed our spirits. We'd fed our bodies, enjoyed some vacuity round the shops, so a couple of medieval churches beckoned!

First, we visited the Church of the Holy Trinity. The Church is on Goodramgate, hidden away behind the main shopping streets. It's a gem of a church, grade one listed. The first existing record of the church is 1082 but the main building work took place in the late Fifteenth century. One of the outstanding features of the church is the box pews. These are extremely rare as most box pews were removed from churches in the Nineteenth century. There are so many references to box pews in literature and the novels of Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope are full of congregations sitting in box pews. It was wonderful to sit there in the candlelit church, imagining congregations of years gone by!

Next we strolled to All Saints on High Ousegate. A church has been on this site since the Norman Conquest but the present building is almost entirely fourteenth- and fifteenth-century. Part of the building was demolished in the late eighteenth century: the east end (chancel and aisles) was removed so that the market-place could be expanded! The most noticeable feature of the church's exterior is the octagonal lantern-tower of about 1400, which for many years housed a light to guide travellers. Most notable are the west window of fine 15th-century York glass with scenes from the life of Christ, with iconography possibly reflecting the Miracle Plays; the east windows by Kempe; and the 12th-century 'doom' knocker on the north door.

All in all we had a wonderful day, the perfect mix of temporal and spiritual pleasures!